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October 17, 2017

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN FILES BRIEF OPPOSING BAN ON TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS IN THE MILITARY

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 14 other attorneys general, filed an amicus brief opposing the federal administration’s plans to ban military service by transgender individuals.

The amicus brief, filed today with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, argues that banning transgender individuals from serving in the military is unconstitutional, against the interest of national defense, and harmful to the transgender community at large. The case, Doe v. Trump, was brought by GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Madigan and the other attorneys general argue in their brief that transgender individuals volunteer to serve in the armed forces at approximately twice the rate of adults in the general population, and that approximately 150,000 veterans, active-duty service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserves identify as transgender.

In the brief, the attorney generals state that since adopting open service policies, “there is no evidence that it has disrupted military readiness, operational effectiveness, or morale. To the contrary, anecdotal accounts indicate that the positive impacts of inclusion were beginning to manifest, as capable and well-qualified individuals who were already serving finally were able to do so authentically.”

Additionally, the attorneys general strongly support the rights of transgender people to live with dignity, to be free from discrimination, and to participate fully and equally in all aspects of civic life, and argue that these interests are all best served by allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military.

Joining Madigan in filing the brief were the attorneys general of: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

A copy of the brief can be found here.

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